Monday, January 7, 2013

Ska Brewing Hibernal Vinifera Stout

This is an oak-aged stout from Ska that is also brewed with Malbec grapes.

I have only had one other offering from Ska and that was their Modus Hoperandi which quickly became one of my favorite IPAs so I am excited to be able to have one of their other offerings and review it.  I'm sure I will like this one!

Pour starts out a black/really dark brown color and looks completely black in the glass aside from the reddish hue on the sides.  The pour brought a nice two finger frothy head.but it didn't stick around too long other than a small amount of lace left on the glass.

Up front I am hit with some sweet chocolate and after a swirl of the glass I get a fruity sweet aroma which I am guessing is from the grapes.  Deeper into the aroma I get some roasted coffee notes which is really nice and also surprising because I don't think this beer is brewed with actual coffee.  Maybe a little alcohol on the nose but not overpowering at all and definitely takes a backseat to everything to else!

First flavors I get are the roasted coffee that I got on the nose. This actually excites me because it has such a nice roast to it without actually using coffee.  Very, very interesting.  A mix of some dark chocolate and dark chocolate bitterness but also some sweet milk chocolate notes as well.  I am getting a very small amount of grapes on the palate.  Right before the roasted flavor comes to the front and also a slightly sweet grape note mixed in dark chocolate bitterness.  Really tasty beer but also very interesting.  The roasty flavors I'm getting are easily my favorite part of the beer surprisingly.  I would have liked more of grape on the palate but I'd rather have too little than too much because I think the grape flavor could easily overpower the beer.

In the mouth it has medium mouthfeel and a slight lingering bitterness.  This doesn't quite coat the mouth but it isn't watery either.  I would like a bit more mouthfeel on it but I'm not unhappy about where it is right now.

Overall I would have to say this is a really solid beer.  Is it the best stout I've had? No, it is not but the flavors are all really nice and I keep going back to how much actual coffee I was getting on the nose and in the taste and how much I really enjoy that.  I would drink this again in a heartbeat.  Easy drinking stout with nice flavors and won't leave you needing a designated driver.

Cheers ladies and gentlemen!

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